Mascom launches mHealth projects
BOTSWANAJohn Churu, Gaborone, Botswana | July 23, 2012, 11:48 a.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Mascom will this week launch far-reaching mHealth projects in Botswana.
Mascom has been collaborating with PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation) to improve the quality and efficiency of disease surveillance in Botswana through mobile health monitoring technology.
The initiative enables health workers to more efficiently predict, observe, and minimise the harm caused by outbreak situations, advancing the country toward its goal of malaria elimination. PING, supported in part by the US Government's PEPFAR programme, is undertaking several mobile health projects in Botswana and shares Mascom’s goal of supporting the Ministry of Health in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other ailments and in promoting the general health of the population.
New initiatives by Mascom include ‘The kgakololo Project’ which is a project developed by PING as an SMS-based support, reminder and information system for patients. The pilot project was first launched in March 2010 (SMS reminders for HIV-patients). The system provides patients with medication and doctor appointment reminders, feedback to questions and assistance in emergency situations via SMS and a toll free phone number.
A follow-up project is the Safe Male Circumcision Project, which came with the success of the Kgakololo Project. PING is extending the service to Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) clients in which males who opt into the Government SMC outreach project are also given SMS-based support. Each patient will receive SMS’s, which include reminders for follow up appointments and supportive messaging during the healing process.
On the list of initiatives to be unpacked by Mascom is the Disease Surveillance and Mapping Project. This programme equips healthcare workers in Botswana with HP Palm Pre 2 smart phones to collect malaria data, notify the Ministry of Health about an outbreak, and tag both data and disease surveillance information with a GPS coordinate. This data will contribute to a first-ever geographic map of disease transmission in the country, enabling faster response times and better measurement of malaria cases to monitor treatment and scale-up net coverage. The program’s pilot phase was the largest mobile health pilot program in Botswana, running throughout the malaria season. Future programs will expand to all outbreak-prone diseases in the region.
Mobile technology provided by Mascom will drastically improve malaria surveillance, by speeding data collection and generating more context-aware information. The project will allow for:
a) Data analysis in the cloud: The system enables healthcare workers to collect data via a Web application on a mobile device, upload the data over the mobile network, and analyse and share the data in the cloud. Through this system, analysis now takes hours rather than weeks to complete.
b) Rapid outbreak notification: When an outbreak is detected, healthcare workers can immediately upload specific case and location information from their mobile device in the field. All health officers in the area and members of the Ministry of Health then receive a text message alerting them of the outbreak, enabling rapid deployment of preventative measures to reduce disease transmission.
MORE BOTSWANA NEWS
Botswana’s Tendekayi Katsiga makes 2015 Tech-I finalistsUS President Barak Obama is expected to be a guest of honour at the2015 GIST Tech-I finalists event to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. Botswana is being represented in the competition by Tendekayi Katsiga who managed to make it into the elite top 30 list. Read More
Deaftronics and EmPowered nominated for Tech-I competitionThe Botswana Innovation Hub has announced the nomination of two technology entrepreneurship start-up companies, Deaftronics and EmPowered as semi-finalists in the Technology Idea (Tech-1) 2015 competition. Read More
BTV runs pilot ahead of switchoverBotswana Television, through the Department of Broadcasting Services, will run a pilot test for Botswana Television’s digital readiness ahead of its June 17 switchover. Read More
BIUST to bring Science and Technology CircusThe Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is pushing the technology envelope further by inviting Africa Science Circus to bring its science and technology exhibition to Botswana. Read More
Botswana prepares for World Telecommunications Day commemorationsPlans are already at an advanced stage for this year commemoration of the 2015 World Telecommunication and Information Society (WTIS) day. Read More
Stanbic Botswana launches Instant Money cash transferStanbic Bank Botswana has launched a new service offering in the form of cardless ‘Instant Money.’ Read More
Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge premiere in BotswanaSamsung Electronics announced its entirely redefined smartphones in Botswana, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Read More
Botswana Academy of Sciences in formative stagesStakeholders in Botswana's ciences fraternity are mooting the formation of an institution that would represent their cause. Read More
New youth ICT programme from BITRIThe Botswana government, through its relevant institutions, has come up with a new youth associate ICT programme. Read More
Stanbic launches real time payments for electricity and DStvStanbic Bank Botswana has announced the introduction of state of the art, real-time electronic payments for Prepaid Electricity and DStv Subscription through its cellphone Banking and Internet Banking Channels. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.